War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0309 Chapter XLVIII. ENGAGEMENT AT PETERSBURG.

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an no enemy being visible, the advance was ordered to proceed into the city. On reaching the bottom of the ravine four pieces artillery and several hundred muskets suddenly from the opposite crest, from such an elevation however, that they overshot us. No one apparently was injured. Before the second volley opened the advance had fallen back under cover. The prospect of entering the city was here suddenly defeated, for while I thought it possible that the enemy was at that moment not very strong, it was strong enough to delay me an hour or two in the commanding position they held. By that time they could re-enforced. I could hear nothing of General Gilmore's command; no firing could be heard in the direction of City Point, and I left certain that his forces had retired. I therefore ordered the command to fall back, and as we retired the enemy opened from our right long range with one piece of artillery and some musketry, before leaving the entrenchments the enemy's camp of forty or fifty tents and some huts were burned, and also a large house with some stores and ammunition. We moved off and returned by the route we came and were not pursued or molested after getting on the road. We captured altogether 42 prisoners. Some of the officers who had better opportunity of knowing report the enemy's killed quite large. Quite a number of their wounded were left behind for want of transportation. The force that held the entrenchments were mostly residents of Petersburg and Prince George Country, belonging to the second-class reserve. The loss of one gun and two carriages was not reported to me until we had retired, and I know nothing of the circumstances except what is contained in Lieutenant Morton's report. Had I known it in time I am satisfied that the gun at least would have been saved.

The conduct of the men on this expedition was even better that I expected, for while i have great confidence in them as cavalry, I did not know what they would do in assaulting entrenchments. The Eleventh pennsylvania had the advance and as usual constantly capturing the enemy's pickets, for which they seem to possess a great superiority. The First Direct of Columbia was the first within the entrenchments and pushed the enemy from the right to the left and some of them were first to lay hand on the gun captured in front of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry. The Fifth moved up in line on the works in fine order, dismounted, and took position on the parapet. The officers severing on my staff who were with me, Doctor Rivers, Major Wetherill, Captain Asch, and Lieutenant Allis were, as before, of the greatest service to the command.

The following is a summary of the killed, wounded, and missing:

Troops. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.

1st District Columbia ....... 6 ...... 6


3rd New York Cavalry. ....... 1 ...... 1

11th Pennsylvania 3 7 4 14


5th Pennsylvania 1 12 2 15


Total. 4 26 6 36

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, chief of Cavalry.

Major R. S. DAVIS,

A. A. G., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina.